Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Qaisuke at the Pool

On the small dog pool deck after the moment.

We were at Dog Park Land in Yongin the other day. It boasts two swimming pools where dogs and humans can cool off together. I told someone, "Qaisuke hates swimming. I'm not sure why we're here." 
My corgi-chihuahua mix, Qaisuke and I lived together for almost a decade in Colorado where life is full of fetching tennis balls, mountain biking, craft beer and pick up trucks. Being a small dog in Colorado is like being a person of color in an all white community. For years Qaisuke felt terribly misfit in a dog community that was predominantly labrador and golden retrievers, and other large sporting dogs. Dog life in Colorado is measured in size, speed, endurance, machismo and athleticism.
She was constantly unintentionally getting pushed, shoved, stepped on, kicked in the face, jumped over and left behind. To add to her challenges, she was plagued by hip dysplasia and arthritis at just 3 years old. Having been a stray before I rescued her, she had just experienced the death of 2 of her 3 puppies in her second litter. She was clearly depressed during our first year together. Grief is real for all species. Mostly, she bore her overwhelm and isolation with silent stoicism.
There was one day when Qaisuke almost drowned in the lake. I'm not even sure if I am exaggerating here. I still feel what I thought was her fear or perhaps it's actually all my own. Maybe I have not forgiven myself for not knowing what she needed until later.
I would grow to have nearly constant, crippling anxiety over protecting her.
It was her first time swimming in a deep lake very shortly after her rescue, a time where I was ignorant about dogs who were different from my other dog Koa, who was very much like all the other dogs in Boulder. I was kind of like how white people who have grown up all white communities don't mean to come off as insensitive to the first person of color who moves in, but over time they learn to be less ignorant and more accommodating.
A friend of mine and our three big retrievers were all swimming in a lake and Qaisuke was sitting on the dock, forlorn as ever. She refused to have anything to do with the water, and looking back I realize it must have been tremendously overwhelming for her to try something so new with all those big dogs splashing around and overpowering her. I thought she would be unhappy but safe on the dock. I intended that we'd have our swim and I would return for her. And then she leaps off the dock and desperately swims after us.
"GREAT!" I think. "She's adjusting to our lifestyle. Soon, she'll learn to swim and realize what fun this is." I went with how I was raised when I was 23. I thought if you push something, force it enough, it eventually sinks in and it's just a matter of getting used to something to the point where it is accepted. Practice creates passion. And this is something that I need to forgive both myself and my entire lineage before me for once believing.
That year, my friend's dog was a vivacious 65-pound puppy. Bella exuberantly swims out to greet Qaisuke and playfully brings a giant paw crashing down over her head in play and essentially unintentionally almost drowns my poor little dog.
I got there in time to intervene and Qaisuke was alright, but until today, she never voluntarily got in the water ever again, not even after I bought her a life vest and went to great lengths to coax her in for swimming lessons, because swimming is good for arthritis. Over all future Coot Lake outings, she would stand on the dock in her life vest looking utterly dejected. If you looked up the word "miserable" in the dictionary, you'd find a picture of Qaisuke at Coot Lake.
Dogs live more in the present than people do but if you've ever seen an abused dog cringe at the benign raise of a hand, you know they carry their trauma around just like we do. 
Fast forward to Life in Korea after the Grand Flipping of the Coin, the 180 degree rotation of the hourglass. If everything before Korea was B.C., today would have been some year in A.D. 
A decade later, what is still traumatizing for me to recall doesn't even cross Qaisuke's mind. It appears she let go of her trauma at Coot Lake when the Divine hourglass flipped over... and she has invited me to follow suit.
It was an exchange between us vast enough to shatter the moon into a million purple rain drops. The moment I let her out of the car she is off by herself far away, silently, meditatively exploring every inch of the land. I keep catching these significant glimpses of her as I'm doing human things like socializing and appreciating the picnic offerings. It was like she was priming the moment, once again, intentionally putting distance between us while making sure I could still see her at precisely the right moments. Just when she'd been gone long enough that I would start to worry, I'd look up and see her behind other dogs, trees, fences, picnic tables, people.
AND THEN I look up to find her again just as she takes a running leap off the wall and dives into depths of the swimming pool, no chaperone needed. Apparently, she somehow let herself into the big dog pool area that is behind two latched gates or she found a way to slip under, through or over the fence. 
"Oh my god that's my dog and I'm not so sure she swims!" Instantly I'm on my feet and semi-frantically fiddling with the complicated latch that separates me and the small dog swimming area. And then I'm on the wrong pool deck and then I'm tearing across the picnic area to the big dog swimming pool and then two more gate latches and then I'm there and by that time thank god the man who was sitting at the side of the pool this whole time has rescued her.
"She WAS swimming for a good 10 to 15 seconds." A friend of mine recounts to me later. 
"Are you SERIOUS? Really?"
"And then she started turning over on her back and looking a little scared and then that guy pulled her out."
Ten to fifteen seconds is actually kind of a long time. Maybe she would have been totally fine. What if it was only after I telepathically hit her with a tidal wave of my own doubt in her that she started to lose her footing?

Obviously from past experiences and social pressure to take on the fears of the collective, I have preconceived notions of what Qaisuke does and does not like, can and cannot do and I am challenged to separate what is hers and what is mine. 
She is one of my life's most profound juxtapositions. Even after I acknowledged her talents for shape shifting and traversing the Colorado mountain ecosystem untouched by predators as real and true, I still cling to beliefs about abilities she does and does not have. Which ACTUALLY means I have my own lethal ego constructs around what I myself believe I can and can't do.
Since I got to Korea I've observed myself do a 180 time and time again, starting again different and new. Literally, starting anew. I had to learn to walk again in Korea as the pieces of my torn achilles found each other and slowly threaded themselves back into one scarred, lumpy unit. Things I thought I didn't like, I actually do. I make choices I would never have made in America and surprise myself constantly with how satisfying those choices are. Things I thought I couldn't achieve actually come naturally to me in Korea. I'm finding that Newness in more and more things, that ability to move forward un-tethered by old stories of fear and doubt and yet there's so much more to surrender.
Koreans never cease to entertain and refresh me with how differently they perceive Qaisuke. Americans, with their judgments against small dog culture, are initially skeptical. "Is that a chihuahua?" they ask. Eventually they're like "Wow, she's actually NOT a spoiled, yappy little shit at all!" Meanwhile, Koreans are like "WOW! Is she a wolf??? A husky? A coyote???? OH! A corgi! Wow she has such LONG legs!"
I took Qaisuke to the pool on the premonition that Korea's energy has the same 180 degree impact on her as it has on me, even though I lost faith in that moment I saw her jump.
She was like Tarzan. "YES!!!!!! THESE ARE MY PEOPLE!" I hear her bellowing. Her unfettered courage as she leapt into the big dog pool alone caught me so off guard I went right back into my old fears and doubts.
Heartbreakingly, after the incident and the fallout, she didn't want to swim anymore. No matter the encouragement, it was like all my anxiety and doubt rained on her initiative and the spontaneity of the moment was over. I don't blame her because I was hovering over her like a helicopter by this point.
My Qaisuke. Demure and proper, my classy bitch. Ever extravagant when it comes to being my Mirror. This day at the dog pool was comparable in magnitude to that day in 2010 when she left my tipi and walked alone through the mountains 12 miles overnight into the city. She was putting 3D physical distance between us so he could come to me in the 5D overnight and I could learn from her how to connect with my Beloved while we are physically apart.
Qaisuke has helped me open my eyes in the greatest of ways, first to 5D communication in summer of 2010, and now in summer of 2016 to how I greatly I limit myself. My mind is stuck on repeat like a skipping CD. I exist in a closed loop: "I can't. I can't. She can't, she can't." over and over and over again in my ego mind. 
I KNOW she jumped into the deep end of that swimming pool fearlessly, framed in one precise moment within my precise line of vision from far away, as a voluntary extension of my own consciousness. This is how our dogs Serve Us Our Own Divinity. Offer it to us so that we may step forward and claim it. She was reflecting my fear and inviting me to come into full awareness of how tragically I limit myself, even when I know I was given a chance at limitlessness by the Divine Mother/Father God/Goddess.
Qaisuke is still going strong at almost 14 years old, challenging me again to level up. Here are some cute photos of her swimming later that day. However, by this time she doesn't want to do it and I'm making her. See her sad face? The spontaneous channelled moment was over.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Qaisuke's Mountain Life and Farewell Gratitude Letter to the Lakeshore Park Community

Koa and Qaisuke in New Jersey

Dear Lakeshore Park Community,

In June 2013, Koa my golden retriever mix, Qaisuke my corgi mix and I moved to Lakeshore Park, where we experienced a dream, an ascension and what can only be described as the grand finale of a 13 year sojourn in Boulder, Colorado.  I will be forever grateful to my housemate Josie Siegel for choosing me and to my landlords, Jon and Leslie Faurot for letting me live here for a year.

Five years ago, I read a book called "Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog" by Ted Kerasote.  The non-fiction piece is about Ted's discovery of how his relationship with his dog was strengthened by giving him both boundaries to navigate the human world and the physical freedom to live his own life. The research-rich saga is a deep exploration into animal consciousness, leadership, partnership and what it means to love a dog.  

Merle's Door became my bible for how I navigated all of my relationships and particularly my relationship with my own dogs.  Never feeling like I was truly home, I visited Kelly, Wyoming where Merle's Door took place to see if I could build a life there too.  Finding that the Jackson Hole area wasn't for me, I returned to Boulder and forgot about my dream to give Koa and Qaisuke what I imagined to be the greatest gift possible to give a dog-- the freedom of a stray with the guidance, provisions and pampering of a pet.

I sold my kayak a week before I moved up to Lakeshore Park Road and the very reservoir I had gotten the boat to explore.  That's how little I expected my move there to happen!  The moment I released attachment to wanting to give Koa and Qaisuke a life like Merle had, it happened times a million and I didn't even have to leave my friends and community.

I write this letter to thank you all as a community for not judging me too harshly for letting Qaisuke, my little tiny wild mountain dog, roam the hills freely.  For those with differing beliefs, I realize my actions could be misunderstood as negligence.  It was never a decision that I made lightly.

Qaisuke's "occupation" in Lakeshore Park was mobile healer.  Some of her visits would have her gone overnight.  She also ran a news, question and answer forum for the local animals.  It was called "Ask Qaisuke."  Other animals would ask, and she'd pull out her urine-marking pen and provide an answer on one of the many rocks or posts that served as scented bulletin boards for the non-human.

You may have met her on her travels.  Some of  you would greet me at the mail boxes and let me know that Qaisuke had been at your house napping on your lap the day before.  To you I am forever grateful.

The first thing Qaisuke told me about herself (telepathically) was how much she hated having her abilities underestimated because she is small.  I was cued to believe in her intelligence and resourcefulness and that she is more than meets the eye.  Over the years she has proven this true in ways that would take a book to describe.  

On the other hand, you may or may not have ever met my other dog, Koa because he preferred to stay home with the exception of visiting Jen and sometimes Chaz.  Always like yin and yang, one dog chose freedom while  the other chose protection.  Koa prefers being fenced in.  He feels safe with the boundaries and the more conventional structure that punctuated our lives when I first got into training dogs early on. 

Koa and Qaisuke are both Canine Good Citizens.  They are also certified therapy dogs that have been coming to work with me for years.  I have invested much time and effort in their training, conditioning, socialization, quality of life, and physical health.  I mention these things to express that my decision to offer them freedom came from a place of love, devotion, meticulous planning, telepathic connection and surrender to God.  I know my choices might have been mistaken as coming from a place of ignorance or not caring what happened to them.

I'd always been deeply aware that Qaisuke could technically die in an instant living the lifestyle she chose alongside wild animals like bears and mountain lions.  However, my spiritual belief is that death is neither the end nor a bad thing; it is a divine transition and a new beginning, that everyone chooses the time and means to their death at a soul level.  Wild predators (if they are balanced) kill in an instant with a bite to to the throat and a snap of the neck, with grace, compassion and gratitude for their prey.  Qaisuke knew that she could die and she was the one who taught me all this--that when it happened, it would at a time where I would be most receptive to learn from it.  She told me that she would gladly die naturally by predation if the time was right.  I'm always listening to my animal companions, always trying to be open to what they have to teach me.  

Koa was aware of the dangers of the mountains as well.  Koa knew that he could be overpowered by a lion or a bear or even a bigger dog and he stayed safely at home by his own choice, especially at night.  Qaisuke and Koa are opposites in every way and Koa would not have wanted to die by predation.  He is a dog that would want to be at home in his favorite comfortable spot, surrounded by his loved ones when that time comes.  He also knew that the apex of his life mission had not begun yet. 

Koa knew where he stood, a younger soul straddling the chasm between the human and animal kingdoms.  Qaisuke also knew where she stood, a wise old shaman dog who earned herself official membership in the local ecosystem.  She and Caleb (Josie's dog and another free dog) knew precisely where they could safely go and where they could not according to the rules of the wildlife kingdom.  They abided by what they had been given.  

During mid-Feb. 2014 when the mountain lions were running amuck in Coal Creek Canyon killing dogs, I, like  many dog guardians, hustled Koa and Qaisuke inside the house on leashes held tightly and only let them outside when I was with them.  We felt the danger in the air and surrendered to it.  And all three of us also knew the very moment the lions had moved on and we returned to life as it had always been.  The shift was felt clearly in the energy of the Earth. 

Living on Lakeshore Park expanded my intuitive connection to my dogs, to the wild animals, to nature, to God and to my own heart. We left Colorado this past June 2014 to embark on the next life phase.  We're moving to Seoul, South Korea.  I'm staying with my parents in New Jersey for a couple of months until the right English teacher job reveals itself.  I will be flying to Seoul with Qaisuke first because it's easier to settle into a high rise apartment in one of the biggest cities on earth with a small, paper trained dog.

"Oh by the way, she's paper trained."  Furry Friends Rescue told me about Qaisuke when I adopted her almost a decade ago.

I share a laugh with Qaisuke around the paper training thing.  Maybe it was mostly me laughing, not at her, but at the irony that my wild regal mountain dog's secret talent is peeing on paper like a purse chihuahua.

"Well that's a skill she'll hopefully never need to use living in Colorado."  I thought, because I equated paper training as the ultimate symbol of heavily urban living.  

"Jesus, no."  she said when I first mentioned it.

"Qaisuke, did you know that you'll be huge compared to the majority of the dogs in Seoul, Korea?"

"...Really??  Okay... tell me more."

Never in my life did I ever think I would be guided by the Universe and ultimately choose with my whole heart to live in a high rise apartment in a giant city with a humid climate.

But sometimes that's what following your heart means-- Doing and truly loving everything that your mind says is the last thing you would ever do or love.  The logic of the mind keels before the power of the heart's calling.

Koa will be staying with my parents in New Jersey for six to eight months or as soon as I get settled and can come back to the U.S. for a visit and fly back to Seoul with him.  He has an important life mission here in New Jersey.  His stay and our separation is very much part of the plan.  I believe South Korea will be my permanent home, as what I am being called to do there will take years and possibly decades.

Ultimately, I reached a point where my love for Qaisuke got me past my fear of losing her.  Every single day we lived up there, I knew that that day truly could have been the end of my allotted run with her and I treated every day with her as if it were our last together.  Every single day I ran through her death by predation in my mind, asking the Creator to comfort me in my fear of it and eventually I arrived at a place of surrender to it.  I had to look far beyond the physical to find the strength of spirit to surrender in this way.  And perhaps my reward for surrendering to Qaisuke dying was that she is VERY much alive, vibrant and ready for our next adventure.

She's right here next to me as I write this in New Jersey, vibrant and ecstatically joyful as ever, always.  I know her joy because she spent two years significantly depressed and struggling when I first rescued her.  My tiny little mountain mama by the Grace of God thrived through many an overnight in the mountains, 3am jaunts out and about in the neighborhood scoping out bear activity from a wisely selected vantage point.

I don't necessarily advocate the life Qaisuke had at Lakeshore Park for any or every dog.  But I do advocate listening to our animals, including them in the decision making process around how their lives will be, and trusting that an adult animal or old soul who is experienced and balanced is self aware, knows what's good for them, what their capacity is and has an understanding of the communications going on within the wild ecosystem beyond what humans can understand.  And if you let them express these things and follow their heads and hearts as we as humans strive to follow ours, the learning, expansion, ascension and connection to Spirit and Source shared between human and canine are a two way street.

In Gratitude,

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Koa's Cancer Surgery Fund

Dear Readers,

Many of you know my dogs and I as one unit. Koa and Qaisuke together are my sixth sense, the primary way that I understand yin and yang, Divine Love and my call to world service. 

Koa's cancer has returned. His surgery is scheduled for April 7, 2014, just ten days short of two years since his first one.

I used to be afraid of asking for help. To admit dependence on others terrified me. In believing that my independence determined my worth, I have spent my life unable to receive Love. Recently someone advised me: "Of course you are not independent. You are INTERCONNECTED, as we ALL are!"

I also just wrote an e-book titled "When Cancer is Sent by Angels: A Story of Animal Guidance and Human Awakening." It chronicles my exploration of the psychological, emotional, spiritual, energetic, social and ancestral messages held in Koa's cancer.  All proceeds will go to Koa's fund. Please consider gifting yourself or your loved ones with a copy.

 Click on the photo to purchase:

Some of our animal companions, like Qaisuke, foreshadow who we become. Others, like Koa, are sacrificial vessels for our pain. They hold our pain for us until they can't anymore and then it turns into cancer.

Cancer is not a canine disease. It is a symptom of human disconnect and a cosmic wakeup call. Cancer is the Universe asking us to leave our fortresses of isolation and fear and return to its womb of connection and Love.

"The surgery will buy us time to shift the energies that were leading to the imbalance." the vet said.

It is my most humble hope that you will consider helping Koa and I both heal by donating whatever you can to our fund and/or purchasing an ebook. Whether you able to offer a couple hundred, a couple bucks or a couple hugs, we are eternally grateful.

We hope to raise $950 to cover surgery and a holistic program for aftercare and recovery.

With Gratitude and Love,
Norell, Koa and Qaisuke

Monday, March 24, 2014

Updating my Energetic Footprint: My Online Dating Profile from Five Years Ago

I've never thought twice about online dating. My ability to read peoples' energy and see their Truth is so strong that gauging candidates made me feel more connected to God. I've met extraordinary men online who remain pillars of support in my life today. Occasionally I let a parasite slip past my radar when I was experiencing a weak moment and that was God's way of showing me where I needed to take better care of myself. Ridding myself of them was meditative and natural. Parasites eventually starve themselves to death. All it took was my silence. Online dating has only ever been an empowering experience for me, never hurtful, yet it became a source of energetic stagnation.

When I wrote this dating profile five years ago in 1999, I was unfurling myself across the Universe.  Posting it was one of my rawest acts of self love and self discovery at the time. Men would contact me and tell me that they had given up hope of authentic connection until they read my profile.

I'm a more developed, more extraordinary version today of who I was when I wrote it. (For what it's worth, I did update the my photos over the years while letting the written part lie fallow. That part was easy since I embody more of my physical Truth every year.  Thank you pole.) Since then I've grown disinterested in dating and romantic love.  I started to favor Divine Love as my connection to God exploded across my consciousness. Yet, I didn't take down the profiles because I resisted change, I resisted the Universal flow of energy, I resisted surrendering to God and what is true in the present moment.

Online dating became this stagnant energy drain on many counts, 
with the exception of a few of God's messengers that entered my life this way. They jumped out at me energetically; I didn't even need to read their emails or look at their profiles to know who they were. With their exception, I grew disinterested and bored with everyone who contacted me no matter how high they stacked up.

By deleting my outdated online dating profiles, I am cleaning up my energy field in preparation for Union with my twin soul (mytwinflamejourney.blogspot.com). I was harming myself and others energetically by leaving something out in the Universe that was once full of magic, manifestation and potential that is now a false, empty shell of all those things. An extraordinary illusion. A mock up. Manipulation.  Deceit.  My f
ear of letting go.  

One does not have to be actively causing harm to be energetically manipulating others through inaction.  Those subtle energies may not be physically detectable, but they do add up as karma later on.

I had this stunning dating profile out in the Universe that was giving others false hope that I was available. I clung to the outdated social paradigm that insists that I should want to be romantically available to keep time with traditional life milestones and the social timeline we are expected to complete them in. And finally I was, like many, guilty of using the profile for ego boosting at the expense of others in times of fear and insecurity. 

Part of our ascension is learning to harness our ego. Allowing the ego to run amuck like this is like a parent bringing their unruly child to another person's house and letting her run around breaking things.

Whenever I pray for forgiveness, I think of all the potential online suitors, handsome or not, "in my league," or not, what I thought I wanted them to be and not, all those men on okcupid.com and pof.com who made sincere, heartfelt attempts to connect with me who I never thanked for the moment they took to See me and shine light and love my way.

*I love you. I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.*

In posting my dating profile from five years ago here on my blog, I am relegating an outdated energetic imprint to an appropriate storage area while honoring that the moment of its creation was a pivotal moment in my life, that it launched me toward the person I became.  


My 2009 Online Dating Profile:
I....Have an appetite that matches the warmth and cold of the changing seasons.
Think of food and laughter as the greatest of medicines.
Honor Mother Earth, Father Universe and the Natural Environment, above all else.
Love and honor my two amazing dogs, who are my partners, my reflections, my spirit guides.
Include my dogs in almost everything I do, every adventure I have, and try to be the best leader I can be for them, as we navigate the world together.
Spread the love through Animal Assisted Therapy.
Believe that the words "Love" and "Enough" do not belong in the same thought, intent, or sentence.
Live the most environmentally sustainable life that I can, and am always looking for ways to expand on this lifestyle.
Want desperately to offer a more exquisite form of trust/faith than is common today, to a person who deserves it.
Know how to take care of someone, and know that I deserve nothing but the same and the best, in return.
Will fight tooth and nail to defend what and who I believe in.
Am not your mother!
Make a point to buy used/recycled things, most of the time.
Feel that the other 10% of consumable items (e.g. bedsheets, tooth brushes, water picks, underwear) are best bought "new."
Strive constantly for Balance, in all my endeavors.
Actually have quite poor physical balance standing on one foot.
Spend every moment I can outside in the summer.
Consider my home a sanctuary.
Lived in a tipi in Jamestown for 6 months one year.
Read. Everything in sight.
Study. Both sides of the issue.
Dance. For joy, for grief, for anger, for frustration, for hope, for new beginnings, for healing, to communicate.
Sing. In the car, riding my bike, hiking the mountains... horribly.
Love to hotspring nude.
Am playful, cuddly, and erotic.
Love to surprise my partner and show my love for him in evolving and unique ways.
Defer skepticism, atheism, personal careers in victimhood, and religions that promote victimhood.
Have a live-and-let-live relationship with bacteria.
Except in China, where I see the point of being a ilttle Germaphobic.
Read the ingredient labels before I buy things.
Support the local economy, grass-finishedmeats, food and cleaning products produced without toxic chemicals, and the "organic movement."
Wonder what the hell "organic" means anymore, anyway.
Take care of my body.
Am somewhat afraid of the dentist.
Can't catch (or throw) anything for my life.
Am always working on breaking old habits and relinquishing destructive patterns.
Deeply appreciate others' self-awareness and insight into themselves as well.
Want to learn to hunt and fish and gather, to provide for myself the way our indigenous ancestors did.
Am aiming to help grow a vibrant garden this spring/summer.
Believe in permaculture.
Say prayers of thanks for the animals and plants that sacrificed their bodies so that we may be nourished by them.
Care more about what I think of me than what others think of me.
Believe in Spirituality that empowers individuals to create their destiny.
Am a FreeCycle freak.
Get an adrenaline rush from "treasure hunting," "urban foraging"... dumpster diving.
Believe that 'creativity' can go as far as 'having lots of disposable income,' when it comes to living comfortably.
Idealize turning water into wine.
Love to spend days in the back country.
Have a penchant for wild Utah, turquoise waters, and desert heat.
Hike Fourteen-ers in crocs.
Enjoy a good pint, a glass of wine, or a cup of hot sake a couple times a week.
Enjoy a liter bottle full of hot tea a couple times a day.
Get a little crazy with my surrealist paintings.
Loath cigarette smoking and drug use.
Advocate for legal marijuana, but would rather not be around it.
Tend to speak my mind.
Am more emotional than I would like to admit.
Think highly of people who possess a mix feminine and masculine personality traits.
Love to hike... alone. Please don't suggest hiking on the first date, as I am looking for a place and time to maintain eye contact with you.
Think about, dream about motherhood, parenthood, every single day.
Advocate passionately for child adoption, animal rescue, and marriage for the right reasons.
Believe that one day You'll find Me, and I will find You.

Honor the Earth.
Tread upon it with Conscious Thought of your actions
Honor Yourself.
Spend every moment you can enjoying the Outdoors.
Leave the outdoors as you found it, or in better condition than it was before you graced it.
Drink rarely/occasionally, for fun, to get lost in the moment, but
Like yourself best when you are clear-thinking.
Vision Quest.
Love Dogs.
Have Dogs, possibly, and see the point of providing them with everything they could possibly need or want without allowing them to feel entitled to everything they could possibly need or want.
Same with what you see for your children if you want children, in the future.
Can hold another individual accountable for their actions.
Can hold yourself accountable for your actions.
Buy things with regard to supporting the local economy.
Ride a bike by the power of your own legs.
Strive to be somewhat minimalist.
See the chivalrous value in asking "Can I call you?" instead of telling her to "Give you a call sometime."
Have flamboyant moments of creativity that may fly against the minimalist ideal.
Support the Organic Movement.
Hate the fact that the "Organic Movement" can be called such, and is trendy.
Are comfortable in your own skin.
Know the difference between pole dancing and stripping.
Know the difference between needing and wanting.
Believe in a Higher Power and your own Spiritual Path.
Are no bible thumping Jesus Freak or zealot of any kind.
Know your Body. Know its potential.
Treat your Body as a temple.
Can Swing Those Hips!
Can leave the TV behind.
Dream about living off the grid, or already do or have in the past.
Can teach me something new.
Will let me teach you something new.
Are playful.
Are sensual.
Are patient and considerate.
Are somewhat romantic but not for the show or the game.
Are touchable, physically, of course. But emotionally, too.
Believe that one's education never ends.
Love to read.
Love to learn.
Perhaps even love to write.
Are not absorbed by politics, but have an opinion.
Are not a Republican.
Know when clothing fits you.
Don't walk around looking like your mother dressed you.
Are not made to feel insecure by my attention to that above detail.
Believe that dressing oneself has little to do with materialism and buying things and everything to do with self-respect, efficiency, and creativity.
Reflect on your actions.
Want to communicate well.
Try to communicate well.
Understand that to be at your best for someone else you have to be at your best for yourself.
Understand that nobody can change you but you.
Believe in compromise.
Believe that in certain cases, there is always room for compromise, and in other cases, both parties just need to let go.
Are your own person.
Can be trusted.
Hope to meet a person to love from the deepest depths of your soul.

Friday, March 21, 2014

~~ Doggie Style ~~

It took me almost a decade to finally be willing to hear that Koa and Qaisuke have different styles.  Literal style preferences. If you really listen, you'll find that dogs do give a shit about what we thought they didn't. (Human arrogance!)

Qaisuke doesn't like the color red. Dogs do see color. They don't see color in necessarily same WAY that humans do, but they do see a more limited spectrum of colors, including red. Should you find yourself feeling superior because we can see more colors, consider the fact that dogs' night vision is several times more powerful than ours.

Koa is ultimately a nudist at heart, but like people, to be a functioning member of society he knows he can't be naked all the time. He has owned pretty much every single harness that has ever been on the market and hated most of them (all synthetic nylon). At one point there was a poorly designed hemp one thrown into the mix. The sharp metal buckle was right where he'd lay on it.

The one harness Koa doesn't mind is the veg-tanned leather Buddy Belt (Buddy Belts). He likes natural fibers against his skin. Natural leather a.k.a. animal skin is the closest thing to his actual skin. He's a strapping guy. He doesn't mind the extra weight. He appreciates the extra loving energetic infusion his buddy belt gets when I oil it with linseed oil to keep it soft and pliable.

If Koa were human, he'd wear tailored leather jackets, Frye boots and cotton. I asked him once if he wanted the matching leather buddy belt collar and he was like, "well, it would probably look better."

Qaisuke is the opposite. She is not a staunch nudist. She's more like hippie meets Boulder-technical-gear-head. The garment must be well fitting, streamlined and designed to last for hours in inclement weather (unlike 99% of the current dogwear market). She likes pink but beyond that has androgynous preferences. Dress her in ruffles and bows and she will make a point to tell you she's wearing your clothes, not hers. She prefers synthetics because they are lightweight. She doesn't appear as particular as Koa but that might be because there's a lot more products available for small dogs than big dogs, kind of like there's a lot more on the market for women than men. That's Qaisuke's winter harness by MyCurli (curli) in the picture. Breathable synthetic air mesh on the inside, windproof, water and dirt repellent outer (good for low riders). If she were human, she'd shop at Patagonia and North Face.

Ask Qaisuke about her collar and tags and she'll tell you she's proud of her tags. She's proud of her life-- the pampering of a pet with the freedom of a stray, she has her own life, thank you very much.

I asked Koa if he had any other requests and he was like, "I want other dogs to see me with you." (Typical guy?)

Show Qaisuke HER buddy belt and she's like "..........." Show Qaisuke one of her cute and colorful Puppias and she kisses me on the legs and dances joyfully. Show Koa one of his air mesh hip doggie harnesses and he runs away and sulks when I make him put it on. Show him his buddy belt and he sulks while I put it on him but doesn't run away.

After almost a decade, I am finally letting Koa and Qaisuke wear what they want.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Disease is Not Anger, But the Act of Retaining It

I had the most amazing interaction today. 

So I went to have a tattoo consultation in North Boulder today... and driving there I was really happy and lost in the wonders of epiphanies and thoughts and not really present in the physical and like a complete fucking asshole, I parked my car right in front of a working auto garage, blocking their entry. I went up to have the (extraordinary!) consultation and when I returned, my car had been moved and parked in the spot that I should have parked in. Stuck on my steering wheel was a note written in thick black Sharpee, highlighted in yellow that said:

"Only RUDE, CHILDISH, self centered CHILDREN park their car in front of a working auto garage!!! PAY ATTENTION doper!!!!"

I truly got to feel like the douchebag that I was for literally the same amount of time it took for them to write that note which was like...all of 5 seconds. and then I was truly grateful and honestly happy to have them say it like it was, huge letters, caps and highlighting and all. I was like.. yeah SAY IT! I deserved it 100% and it's okay and I was able to reflect how the mechanic released his feelings full blast by letting my guilt and shame last ONLY that long before also returning to joy and love.

I really love to see when anger is released and not held onto and left to fester in the heart and mind. I literally felt the intensity of his irritation at me .... and then I felt him release it and I got to reflect that release. It felt so uplifting.

So I drove to where I was going, looked up the auto shop's phone number and called and introduced myself Norell, the horrible excuse for a human being that parked in front of their garage. I thanked them for the awesome reality check and apologized profusely and they were laughing and I truly FELT the forgiveness through the phone.

This was such a touching reminder of how harbored anger at someone is a disease. That it is NOT anger that is the disease but the act of retaining it. Anger is meant to be felt and released and that is what sends us back in the right direction toward Love.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

On Qaisuke, "Merle's Door" by Ted Kerasote and How Its Principles Have Guided My Life

Four years ago, I read a non-fiction piece called "Merle's Door" by Ted Kerasote. Kerasote planted the seed in me around dogs and freedom earned through boundaries: " The training went both ways. Ted showed Merle how to live around wildlife, and Merle reshaped Ted's ideas about the complexity of a dog's mind, showing him how a dog's intelligence could be expanded by allowing it to make more of its own decisions."

"Merle's Door" is so much more to me than a book about dog guardianship. It has been my primary resource guide to intuitive connection and navigating the human condition. I've built my life around its principles. Two years ago, I went to visit Kelly, Wyoming, the small Teton village in which the book takes place to see if I could build a life there too. Koa, Qaisuke and I stayed 3 days in the village. I scoped out employment possibilites in the nearby city of Jackson. Unexpectedly, we ran into Ted himself. Equally honored and self conscious that my efforts to try Kelly on for size might be mistaken for brazen fan girling, we took a quick walk with Merle's predecessor, Pukka and some of the neighborhood dogs. I was literally walking in Merle and Ted's footsteps. I visited the Kelly post office and tried to imagine my name on one of the mailboxes. It did not feel right. Kelly was not meant to be for us, so I returned to Boulder, got on with my life and forgot about that dream for awhile.

Prior to moving to the Lakeshore Park mountain community, I lived in a cottage in downtown Boulder for two years until I got notice to move because the landlords needed the place for themselves. I'd been schlepping around a kayak that I used on Gross Reservoir three times in four years and sold it before I moved, having no idea that I'd regret it! I had no idea that my Merle's Door manifestation was about to come true here as all manifestations do when we release attachments and feelings of need around them. With its tremendous waters, glorious mountains and surprisingly abundant flat areas, Lakeshore Park is a hundred times more filling and beautiful to me than Kelly was. It is so much more than what I had ever hoped for. To this day, getting to live here remains my greatest example of how I have experienced the power of manifestation in my life.

When I first adopted Qaisuke from a rescue in Oklahoma in 2005, I thought I wanted a small, vulnerable dog that I could baby and protect and use as an emotional crutch for myself. As if on cue, she came to me as a broken, sickly, depressed former stray. Nipples swollen and hanging low, the "beauty marks" on her face are actually bite marks from an attack. X-rays revealed that she has a BB bullet in her leg.

Oh, how Qaisuke could snuggle. I'd hold her in my arms like a baby. Round, velvety soft and 15 pounds, she fit in them so perfectly. "I'll never let you go." I'd tell her. In return, she'd mother me. She'd lick and lick and lick my face. She'd come running at the slightest hint of my distress. She was as depressed as I was in those early years. I'd ask her about her past, about her puppies, and every time, she'd shut me down. "I don't want to talk about that." she'd say. "It's too painful."

Koa is my puppy, my child. He and I align in the way most humans think they align with their dogs in the current paradigm. Koa remembers his biological mother and the oppressive mill environment that he was born into. He remembers what a good, loving mother she was despite being very tired. And he remembers being taken away from her before he was weaned to be sold. To heal that wound, he needed me to be his mother as much as I needed him to be my child.

Qaisuke's story is the opposite of Koa's and together she and Koa are one many yin-yang equations in my life. Qaisuke and my roles reversed themselves on a soul level over time. Eventually I became Qaisuke's puppy, her child. She has had two litters, totaling five puppies and all but one are dead or were taken from her too soon. To not know what became of your children is far worse than mourning over their bodies, whether you are human or canine. She needed to mother me in order to fill that empty hole in her heart as much as I needed a mother to pick up where my own biological mother left off.

Qaisuke may look like a cartoon dog, but she is much more than what she seems... so much more. She is the true wild mountain dog of my two. Behind her passive, gentle, adorable-to-the-point-of-ridiculous exterior there is fierce, regal queen, her wisdom deep as the ocean. She came into her power four years ago when we lived in our tipi. I remember when I saw her grinning ecstatically as she was running through the woods and I realized I had never seen her smile until that day.

I know many have wondered if I was careless, ignorant or both to let my tiny dog traverse the mountains alone on her daily rounds. I feel blessed that the Flagstaff Community has expressed more loving concern than judgment.

The truth is I have spent every day of my life preparing myself for the day Qaisuke passes, breathing in and out, presencing my fear as it ebbs and flows around the concept of her completion, taking myself through the act of utter surrender as if rehearsing for a play. I've always had an intuition that she would choose to die by predation when she is physically at her most vibrant, for it is the most natural, interconnected form of death possible. I remember hearing about a domestic cat that passed on. She was asked what it felt like to be eaten by a mountain lion. Her reply was that "It felt like being swept up into the hands of God." Qaisuke taught me that time, place and cause of death is a personal choice made by the higher self. And that what lies beyond being in a physical body on this planet, being a light worker and energy being is a wonderful experience beyond my wildest dreams.

I also believe in the power of sacrifice and buying time. I moved here both exhilarated by the mountain ecosystem and terrified at the dangers it could pose to the two dogs I swore to protect and care for with everything I had. Do you remember my story about Ayelet, the fox that I hit in my car? I believe that Ayelet unexpectedly entered my life in an act of Christ-consciousness and that she died that night for two reasons, the first being in an act of sacrifice so that Qaisuke could live. Ayelet also empowered me to bring Braxton the goat into my life. Braxton is also on the other side now, and he is the reason that Koa could live. (His is a different chapter of this book.)

Sometimes though, plans can change. Recalculations are a constant. The future is one half predetermined destiny and one half malleable free will. Again, the yin-yang equation, when two contradicting halves can merge as one whole.

Although dogs being taken by lions has been happening since people first began settling in the mountains, there is no doubt that there's been a shift this year. The first of a concentrated string of mountain lion attacks on dogs in our area under abnormal circumstances happened on Jan. 23rd, 2014, two days after all three dogs in our household were scheduled to stay in town with flexibility to stay as long as needed to remain safe. I took this as a warning, a Divine sign from God that one era of my life is ending and another is beginning, that the period in which Koa and Qaisuke were meant to be free dogs as Merle was is drawing to a close, that perhaps we have learned and integrated all we were meant to learn from the experience and new energy is moving in.